17 Items

Journal Article - Nature

Steps to China's Carbon Peak

| June 18, 2015

China is the world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide, accounting for one-quarter of the global total in 2013. Although the country has successfully lowered the rate of emissions from industry in some cities through improved technology and energy-efficiency measures, rapid economic growth means that more emissions are being added than removed. Without mitigation, China's CO2 emissions will rise by more than 50% in the next 15 years.

Discussion Paper

Water Markets in China

| October 2014

This discussion paper examines the development of water markets as a solution to water scarcity in China, with particular focus on Water Rights Trading (WRT). Water scarcity is an issue of growing concern for China, particularly in the north, where a combination of limited water supplies, economic growth, and population increases are increasingly straining water resources. The Chinese government has moved enthusiastically toward an embrace of market mechanisms to address water scarcity, with WRT being the preferred policy instrument in the agricultural sector, which accounts for the majority of water use in China. This discussion paper proposes several policy recommendations to improve the development of water markets in China, in particular by lowering the transaction costs to establishing markets and improving policy coordination.

Dismantled houses next to China's Danjiangkou reservoir. An estimated 330,000 people were relocated for the reservoir's expansion, which marks the beginning of the South-North Water Transfer Project's middle route.

International Rivers CC

Journal Article - Environmental Politics

Modernisation, Authoritarianism, and the Environment: The Politics of China's South-North Water Transfer Project

| November 2014

China presents a paradox for scholars of environmental politics. Environmental politics and policymaking in China now includes elements critical to environmental protection in the West, including non-governmental participation and stringent environmental legislation. Yet the country's authoritarian system constrains popular participation, and environmental outcomes are generally poor. China's South–North Water Transfer Project (SNWTP) embodies this puzzle: despite the pluralisation and development of environmental politics and policymaking, the SNWTP is a technocratic mega-project that imposes high social, economic, and environmental costs.

Longtang Dam viewed from the east, Longtang, Qiongshan District, Hainan, China, 23 October 2013.

Wikimedia CC

Journal Article - The China Quarterly

Hydropolitics and Inter-Jurisdictional Relationships in China: The Pursuit of Localized Preferences in a Centralized System

| August 2014

Inter-jurisdictional water resource issues constitute a growing political and economic challenge in China. This article examines three such cases of hydropolitics, namely large dam construction, water resource allocation, and downstream water pollution, through the lens of central–local relations. It argues that the hydropolitics in China are characterized by the pursuit of localized preferences within the constraints imposed by a centralized political system.

Haze-shrouded highway in Zhangjiang Pudong District, Shanghai, China, December 2013.

Wikimedia Commons CC

Journal Article - Foreign Affairs

Pollution Without Revolution

| June 11, 2014

"Given Beijing's new emphasis on the environment, an even bigger challenge will be addressing the global dimensions of its pollution, the effects of which don't stop at the water's edge. China is by far the largest source of air pollution among all Asian countries, including India, and Chinese emissions negatively affect air quality in a host of neighboring countries, particularly Japan. Chinese air pollution is even degrading air quality in the United States."

A Factory in China at the Yangtze River, Sept. 2008. China's local officials emphasize short-term economic growth over compliance with antipollution directives.

High Contrast Photo CC

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

The United States of China

| March 11, 2014

"But adopting federalism would help to ease one of modern China's most fundamental governance problems: The fact that local officials often implement central policies halfheartedly, if at all. Caught in a system that gives them plenty of responsibilities but no accountability to constituents, China's local officials emphasize short-term economic growth over compliance with directives like antipollution and social welfare targets. The result is that environmental and social policies are often badly implemented. If provincial and local officials had a greater voice in developing policy, they would have a greater stake in the outcome of these policies."

Discussion Paper

The Politics of Thirst

| February 2014

Northern China's Yellow River is experiencing conditions of acute water scarcity, which has become an issue of growing concern to scholars, policymakers, and the public at large in both China and abroad. This Discussion Paper analyzes the current and future response of the Chinese government to conditions of water scarcity in the Yellow River Basin.

Analysis & Opinions - The South China Morning Post

China Must Strengthen its Institutions Before Unleashing Market Forces

| November 19, 2013

"Although the country has successfully imported model environmental policies, it has yet to develop the complex institutional infrastructure needed to make them work, especially an independent judiciary, a capable bureaucracy, and effective co-operation between central and local governments."

4-1-2012: Harbor Island, Seattle, Wash. The Port of Seattle & the Port of Dalian, China, partnered with other public & private sector companies in an EcoPartnership to make port terminals & infrastructures more environmentally sustainable.

Joe Mabel Photo

Analysis & Opinions - Power & Policy Blog

California's Sub-National Diplomacy: The Right Approach

| October 8, 2013

"Sub-national partnerships have the advantage of being far more flexible than nation-to-nation agreements. This makes it easier to target specific needs across national borders, such as the improbable but promising partnership between the port cities of Seattle and Dalian to clean up their harbors. Sub-national agreements are also better suited to policy innovation and the tackling of tough issues like climate change, because the stakes are much lower than at the international level. Consequently, sub-national agreements are particularly well-suited to deal with environmental issues."